'Tainted' Put Behind Curtains - The New Indian Express

'Tainted' Put Behind Curtains

Published: 22nd March 2014 08:40 AM

Last Updated: 22nd March 2014 08:40 AM

Once stalwarts in election campaigns, they are now behind the curtains. A couple of very prominent leaders who have been in the limelight during polls for many years, are now behind the scene only with many of them allegedly named in sex scandals. While some are keeping off election campaigns as directed by the party leaders, some take part in the campaign only at the local level.

The majority of sexual harassment allegations were against Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders, including CPM former Kannur district secretary P Sasi, former Ernakulam district secretary Gopi Kottamurikkal and Janata Dal Secular leader Jose Thettayil MLA. Sasi and Kottamurikkal were expelled from the party’s primary membership after an internal probe against them while Thettayil still continues in the party. At the same time, Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) also faced a similar situation recently with its two star campaigners A P Abdullakutty MLA and N Peethambara Kurup MP joining the club.

Sasi told Express that he would always stand by the party though he is not in Parliament election campaigning.

“Returning to the party and going for election campaigning are not in my agenda. I am enjoying my legal profession now. Though I am not active in mainstream politics, my support for party policies remains the same,” Sasi said. Another CPM leader Gopi Kottamurikkal was ousted from the party after he got involved in a sexual impropriety in the Lenin Center, the district committee office of the party. After that, he was kept away by the party in all public functions. Gopi told Express he has been waiting for the party’s decision for his return.

After the sex scam came out, he stayed away from party functions.

“I would like to foray into the ongoing election campaign. Last month, the Ernakulam district committee unanimously decided to take back me into the party. The decision has been sent to the state committee for approval, and now I am waiting for the top-level decision,” Kottamurikkal said.

The fate of Jose Thettayil is also similar after a woman made sexual abuse charges against him. Though the apex Court had upheld the order of Kerala HC acquitting Thettayil from the case, he has not been active in the mainstream of election campaigning.

The two Congress leaders - Peethambara Kurup and Abdullakutty - landed in a soup after sexual harassment allegations raised by actor Swetha Menon and Solar accused Saritha Nair respectively. 

Abdullakutty is almost absent from the election campaign for the Congress candidate in Lok Sabha elections. The presence of Abdullakutty, former ‘wonder boy’ of CPM, had always proved to be beneficial for Congress. But with recent allegations, Abdullakutty has become a headache for the United Democratic Front now.

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